Portrait of Native Dancer by C. Fred Sitzler
Native Dancer was a champion in each of his three racing seasons. At 2, one poll of turf writers even named Native Dancer Horse of the Year. Native Dancer's fame was spurred in part by his television appearances; he was racing's first tv personality.
Unbeaten at 2, Native Dancer won the Youthful, Flash, Saratoga Special, Grand Union Hotel, Hopeful, Futurity, and East View Stakes. He was named Champion 2-year-old for 1952. Native Dancer missed the Triple Crown by a head in the Kentucky Derby, but he did win all the other major races of the season including: the Preakness and the Belmont, the Travers, Withers, Dwyer, Wood Memorial, Gotham, Arlington Classic, and American Derby.
Native Dancer won the Metropolitan Mile and two other races before an injury forced his retirement. He then went on to a successful career as sire.
Fourteen percent of Native Dancer's foals were stakes winners. He sired the champion Raise a Native and a daughter who produced Northern Dancer.
Native Dancer was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 1963.
Native Dancer (left) battles Jamie K. in the Belmont Stakes